10 million Ukrainians without power because of Russia. Help us purchase electrical generators for churches.
Consider helping today!

Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

1 Peter 1

Verse 1

Peter (Πετρος). Greek form for the Aramaic (Chaldaic) Χηφας, the nickname given Simon by Jesus when he first saw him (John 1:42) and reaffirmed in the Greek form on his great confession (Matthew 16:18), with an allusion to πετρα, another form for a rock, ledge, or cliff. In 2 Peter 1:1 we have both Σιμων and Πετρος. Paul in his Epistles always terms himself Paul, not Saul. So Peter uses this name, not Cephas or Simon, because he is writing to Christians scattered over Asia Minor. The nominative absolute occurs here as in James 1:1, but without χαιρειν as there, the usual form of greeting in letters (Acts 23:26) so common in the papyri.

An apostle of Jesus Christ (αποστολος Ιησου Χριστου). This is his official title, but in 2 Peter 1:1 δουλος is added, which occurs alone in James 1:1. In II and III John we have only ο πρεσβυτερος (the elder), as Peter terms himself συνπρεσβυτερος in 1 Peter 5:1. Paul's usage varies greatly: only the names in I and II Thessalonians, the title αποστολος added and defended in Galatians and Romans as also in I and II Corinthians and Colossians and Ephesians and II Timothy with "by the will of God" added, and in I Timothy with the addition of "according to the command of God." In Philippians Paul has only "δουλος (slave) Χριστου Ιησου," like James and Jude. In Romans and Titus Paul has both δουλος and αποστολος, like II Peter, while in Philemon he uses only δεσμιος (prisoner) Ιησου Χριστου.

To the elect (εκλεκτοις). Without article (with the article in Matthew 24:22; Matthew 24:24; Matthew 24:31) and dative case, "to elect persons" (viewed as a group). Bigg takes εκλεκτοις (old, but rare verbal adjective from εκλεγω, to pick out, to select) as an adjective describing the next word, "to elect sojourners." That is possible and is like γενος εκλεκτον in 1 Peter 2:9. See the distinction between κλητο (called) and εκλεκτο (chosen) in Matthew 22:14.

Who are sojourners (παρεπιδημοις). Late double compound adjective (παρα, επιδημουντες, Acts 2:10, to sojourn by the side of natives), strangers sojourning for a while in a particular place. So in Polybius, papyri, in LXX only twice (Genesis 23:4; 38 or 39 12), in N.T. only here, 1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13. The picture in the metaphor here is that heaven is our native country and we are only temporary sojourners here on earth.

Of the Dispersion (διασπορας). See John 7:35 for literal sense of the word for scattered (from διασπειρω, to scatter abroad, Acts 8:1) Jews outside of Palestine, and James 1:1 for the sense here to Jewish Christians, including Gentile Christians (only N T. examples). Note absence of the article, though a definite conception (of the Dispersion). The Christian is a pilgrim on his way to the homeland. These five Roman provinces include what we call Asia Minor north and west of the Taurus mountain range (Hort). Hort suggests that the order here suggests that Silvanus (bearer of the Epistle) was to land in Pontus from the Euxine Sea, proceed through Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, to Bithynia, where he would re-embark for Rome. This, he holds, explains the separation of Pontus and Bithynia, though the same province. Only Galatia and Asia are mentioned elsewhere in the N.T. as having Christian converts, but the N.T. by no means gives a full account of the spread of the Gospel, as can be judged from Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:23.

Verse 2

According to (κατα). Probably to be connected with εκλεκτοις rather than with αποστολος in spite of a rather loose arrangement of words and the absence of articles in verses 1 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 1:2.

The foreknowledge (προγνωσιν). Late substantive (Plutarch, Lucian, papyri) from προγινωσκω (1 Peter 1:20), to know beforehand, only twice in N.T. (here and Acts 2:23 in Peter's sermon). In this Epistle Peter often uses substantives rather than verbs (cf. Romans 8:29).

Of God the Father (θεου πατρος). Anarthous again and genitive case. See πατηρ applied to God also in 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:17 as often by Paul (Romans 1:7, etc.). Peter here presents the Trinity (God the Father, the Spirit, Jesus Christ).

In sanctification of the Spirit (εν αγιασμω πνευματος). Clearly the Holy Spirit, though anarthrous like θεου πατρος. Late word from αγιαζω, to render holy (αγιος), to consecrate, as in 1 Thessalonians 4:7. The subjective genitive here, sanctification wrought by the Spirit as in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (where the Trinity mentioned as here).

Unto obedience (εις υπακοην). Obedience (from υπακουω, to hear under, to hearken) to the Lord Jesus as in 1 Peter 1:22 "to the truth," result of "the sanctification."

And sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (ραντισμον αιματος Ιησου Χριστου). Late substantive from ραντιζω, to sprinkle (Hebrews 9:13), a word used in the LXX of the sacrifices (Numbers 19:9; Numbers 19:13; Numbers 19:20, etc.), but not in any non-biblical source so far as known, in N.T. only here and Hebrews 12:24 (of the sprinkling of blood). Reference to the death of Christ on the Cross and to the ratification of the New Covenant by the blood of Christ as given in Hebrews 9:19; Hebrews 12:24 with allusion to Exodus 24:3-8. Paul does not mention this ritual use of the blood of Christ, but Jesus does (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24). Hence it is not surprising to find the use of it by Peter and the author of Hebrews. Hort suggests that Peter may also have an ulterior reference to the blood of the martyrs as in Revelation 7:14; Revelation 12:11, but only as illustration of what Jesus did for us, not as having any value. The whole Epistle is a commentary upon προγνωσις θεου, αγιασμος πνευματοσ, αιμα Χριστου (Bigg). Peter is not ashamed of the blood of Christ.

Be multiplied (πληθυνθειη). First aorist passive optative (volitive) of πληθυνω, old verb (from πληθυς, fulness), in a wish. So in 2 Peter 1:2; Judges 1:2, but nowhere else in N.T. salutations. Grace and peace (χαρις κα ειρηνη) occur together in 2 Peter 1:2, in 2 John 1:2 (with ελεος), and in all Paul's Epistles (with ελεος added in I and II Timothy).

Verse 3

Blessed be (ευλογητος). No copula in the Greek (εστω, let be, or εστιν, is, or ειη, may be). The verbal adjective (from ευλογεω) occurs in the N.T. only of God, as in the LXX (Luke 1:68). See also 2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3.

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (ο θεος κα πατηρ του κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστου). This precise language in 2 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:3; and part of it in 2 Corinthians 11:31; Romans 15:6. See John 20:17 for similar language by Jesus.

Great (πολυ). Much.

Begat us again (αναγεννησας ημας). First aorist active articular (ο, who) participle of αναγενναω, late, and rare word to beget again, in Aleph for Sirach (Prol. 20), in Philo, in Hermetic writings, in N.T. only here and verse 1 Peter 1:23. "It was probably borrowed by the New Paganism from Christianity" (Bigg). The Stoics used αναγεννησις for παλινγενεσια (Titus 3:5). If ανωθεν in John 3:3 be taken to mean "again," the same idea of regeneration is there, and if "from above" it is the new birth, anyhow.

Unto a living hope (εις ελπιδα ζωσαν). Peter is fond of the word "living" (present active participle of ζαω) as in 1 Peter 1:23; 1 Peter 2:4; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 4:5; 1 Peter 4:6. The Pharisees cherished the hope of the resurrection (Acts 23:6), but the resurrection of Jesus gave it proof and permanence (1 Corinthians 15:14; 1 Corinthians 15:17). It is no longer a dead hope like dead faith (James 2:17; James 2:26). This revival of hope was wrought "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (δια αναστασεως). Hope rose up with Christ from the dead, though the disciples (Peter included) were slow at first to believe it.

Verse 4

Unto an inheritance (εις κληρονομιαν). Old word (from κληρονομος, heir) for the property received by the heir (Matthew 21:38), here a picture of the blessedness in store for us pilgrims (Galatians 3:18).

Incorruptible (αφθαρτον). Old compound adjective (alpha privative and φθειρω, to corrupt), imperishable. So many inheritances vanish away before they are obtained.

Undefiled (αμιαντον). Old verbal adjective (note alliteration) from alpha privative and μιαινω, to defile, without defect or flaw in the title, in N.T. only here, James 1:27; Hebrews 13:4.

That fadeth not away (αμαραντον). Alliterative and verbal adjective again from alpha privative and μαραινω (to dry up, to wither, as in James 1:11), late and rare word in several inscriptions on tombs, here only in N.T. These inscriptions will fade away, but not this inheritance in Christ. It will not be like a faded rose.

Reserved (τετηρημενην). Perfect passive participle of τηρεω, old verb, to take care of, to guard. No burglars or bandits can break through where this inheritance is kept (Matthew 6:19; John 17:11). Cf. Colossians 1:5, where laid away" (αποκειμενην) occurs.

For you (εις υμας). More graphic than the mere dative.

Verse 5

By the power of God (εν δυναμε θεου). No other δυναμις (power) like this (Colossians 1:3).

Are guarded (φρουρουμενους). Present (continuous process) passive articular (τους) participle of φρουρεω, to garrison, old verb (from φρουρος sentinel), a military term (Acts 9:24; 2 Corinthians 11:32), used of God's love (Philippians 4:7) as here. "The inheritance is kept; the heirs are guarded" (Bengel).

Through faith (δια πιστεως). Intermediate agency (δια), the immediate being (εν, in, by) God's power.

Unto a salvation (εις σωτηριαν). Deliverance is the goal (εις) of the process and final salvation here, consummation as in 1 Thessalonians 5:8, from σωτηρ (Saviour, from σωζω, to save).

Ready (ετοιμην). Prepared awaiting God's will (Galatians 3:23; Romans 8:18).

To be revealed (αποκαλυφθηνα). First aorist passive infinitive of αποκαλυπτω, to unveil. Cf. Colossians 3:4 for φανεροω (to manifest) in this sense.

In the last time (εν καιρω εσχατω). This precise phrase nowhere else, but similar ones in John 6:39; Acts 2:17; James 5:3; 2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3; Hebrews 1:2; Judges 1:18; 1 John 2:18. Hort translates it here "in a season of extremity," but it is usually taken to refer to the Day of Judgment. That day no one knows, Jesus said.

Verse 6

Wherein (εν ω). This translation refers the relative ω to καιρω, but it is possible to see a reference to Χριστου (verse 1 Peter 1:3) or to θεου (verse 1 Peter 1:5) or even to the entire content of verses 1 Peter 1:3-5. Either makes sense, though possibly καιρω is correct.

Ye greatly rejoice (αγαλλιασθε). Present middle indicative (rather than imperative) of αγαλλιαομα, late verb from αγαλλομα, to rejoice, only in LXX, N.T., and ecclesiastical literature as in Matthew 5:12.

Now for a little while (ολιγον αρτ). Accusative case of time (ολιγον) probably as in Mark 6:31, though it can be used of space (to a small extent) as in Luke 5:3.

If need be (ε δεον). Present active neuter singular participle of δε (it is necessary). Some MSS. have εστιν after δεον (periphrastic construction). Condition of first class.

Though ye have been put to grief (λυπηθεντες). First aorist passive participle (concessive circumstantial use) of λυπεω, to make sorrowful (from λυπη, sorrow), old and common verb. See 2 Corinthians 6:10.

In manifold temptations (εν ποικιλοις πειρασμοις). Just the phrase in James 1:2, which see for discussion. "Trials" clearly right here as there. Seven N.T. writers use ποικιλος (varied).

Verse 7

The proof of your faith (το δοκιμιον υμων της πιστεως). The identical phrase in James 1:3 and probably derived from there by Peter. See there for discussion of το δοκιμιον (the test or touchstone of faith).

Being more precious (πολυτιμοτερον). No word for "being" (ον) in the Greek. The secondary uncials have πολυ τιμιωτερον. The text is the comparative of πολυτιμος, late adjective (Plutarch) from πολυ and τιμη (of great price) as in Matthew 13:46.

Than gold (χρυσιου). Ablative case after the comparative adjective.

That perisheth (του απολλυμενου). Present middle articular participle of απολλυμ to destroy. Even gold perishes (wears away).

Though it is proved by fire (δια πυρος δε δοκιμαζομενου). Present passive articular participle (in the ablative like χρυσιου) of δοκιμαζω (common verb for testing metals) with δε, which gives a concessive sense to the participle. Faith stands the test of fire better than gold, but even gold is refined by fire.

That might be found (ινα ευρεθη). Purpose clause with ινα and the first aorist passive subjunctive of ευρισκω, common verb, to find. As in 2 Peter 3:14, this is the result of the probation by God as the Refiner of hearts.

Unto praise and glory and honour (εις επαινον κα δοξαν κα τιμην). Here probably both to God and man in the result. Cf. Matthew 5:11; Romans 2:7; Romans 2:10; 1 Timothy 1:17.

At the revelation of Jesus Christ (εν αποκαλυψε Ιησου Χριστου). So also in 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Luke 17:30 of the second coming of Christ as the Judge and Rewarder (Bigg).

Verse 8

Whom (ον). Relative referring to Christ just before and accusative case, object of both ιδοντες and αγαπατε (ye love).

Not having seen (ουκ ιδοντες). Second aorist active participle of οραω, to see, with ουκ rather than μη because it negatives an actual experience in contrast with μη ορωντες (though not seeing, hypothetical case). On whom (εις ον) with πιστευοντες common construction for "believing on" (πιστευω εις). It is possible that Peter here has in mind the words of Jesus to Thomas as recorded in John 20:29 ("Happy are those not seeing and yet believing"). Peter was present and heard the words of Jesus to Thomas, and so he could use them before John wrote his Gospel.

Ye rejoice greatly (αγαλλιατε). Same form as in verse 1 Peter 1:6, only active here instead of middle.

With joy (χαρα). Instrumental case (manner).

Unspeakable (ανεκλαλητω). Late and rare double compound verbal (alpha privative and εκλαλεω), here only in N.T., in Dioscorides and Heliodorus, "unutterable," like Paul's "indescribable" (ανεκδιηγητος) gift (2 Corinthians 9:15, here alone in N.T.).

Full of glory (δεδοξασμενη). Perfect passive participle of δοξαζω, to glorify, "glorified joy," like the glorified face of Moses (Exodus 34:29; 2 Corinthians 3:10.

Verse 9

Receiving (κομιζομενο). Present middle participle of κομιζω, old verb, to receive back, to get what is promised (1 Peter 5:4; Hebrews 10:36).

The end of your faith (το τελος της πιστεως). The conclusion, the culmination of faith (2 Corinthians 3:13; Romans 2:21; Romans 10:4). See Hebrews 12:2 of Jesus as "Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith."

Even the salvation of your souls (σωτηριαν ψυχων). No "even" in the text, just the accusative of apposition with τελος, viz., final salvation.

Verse 10

Concerning which salvation (περ ης σωτηριας). Another relative clause (taking up σωτηρια from verse 1 Peter 1:9 and incorporating it) in this long sentence (verses 1 Peter 1:3-12, inclusive, all connected by relatives). Peter lingers over the word σωτηρια (salvation) with something new to say each time (Bigg). Here it is the general sense of the gospel of grace.

Sought (εξεζητησαν). First aorist active indicative of εκζητεω, to seek out (Acts 15:17), late and rare compound, only in LXX and N.T. save once in Aristides.

Searched diligently (εξηραυνησαν). First aorist active indicative of εξεραυναω, old and common compound (εξερευναω), to search out diligently, here only in N.T. Both of these words occur together in I Macc. 9:26.

Of the grace that should come unto you (περ της εις υμας χαριτος). "Concerning the for you grace" (meant for you).

Verse 11

Searching (εραυνωντες). Present active participle of εραυναω, late form for older ερευναω (both in the papyri), uncompounded verb (John 7:52), the compound occurring in verse 1 Peter 1:10 above.

What time or what manner of time (εις τινα η ποιον καιρον). Proper sense of ποιος (qualitative interrogative) kept here as in 1 Corinthians 15:35; Romans 3:27, though it is losing its distinctive sense from τις (Acts 23:34). The prophets knew what they prophesied, but not at what time the Messianic prophecies would be fulfilled.

The Spirit of Christ which was in them (το εν αυτοις πνευμα Χριστου). Peter definitely asserts here that the Spirit of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was in the Old Testament prophets, the Holy Spirit called the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9), who spoke to the prophets as he would speak to the apostles (John 16:14).

Did point unto (εδηλου). Imperfect active of δηλοω, to make plain, "did keep on pointing to," though they did not clearly perceive the time.

When it testified beforehand (προμαρτυρομενον). Present middle participle of προμαρτυρομα, a late compound unknown elsewhere save in a writer of the fourteenth century (Theodorus Mech.) and now in a papyrus of the eighth. It is neuter here because πνευμα is neuter, but this grammatical gender should not be retained as "it" in English, but should be rendered "he" (and so as to Acts 8:15). Here we have predictive prophecy concerning the Messiah, though some modern critics fail to find predictions of the Messiah in the Old Testament.

The sufferings of Christ (τα εις Χριστον παθηματα). "The sufferings for (destined for) Christ" like the use of εις in verse 1 Peter 1:10 (εις υμας for you).

The glories that should follow them (τας μετα ταυτα δοξας). "The after these things (sufferings) glories." The plural of δοξα is rare, but occurs in Exodus 15:11; Hosea 9:11. The glories of Christ followed the sufferings as in 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 5:1; 1 Peter 5:6.

Verse 12

To whom (οις). Dative plural of the relative pronoun. To the prophets who were seeking to understand. Bigg observes that "the connexion between study and inspiration is a great mystery." Surely, but that is no argument for ignorance or obscurantism. We do the best that we can and only skirt the shore of knowledge, as Newton said.

It was revealed (απεκαλυφθη). First aorist passive indicative of αποκαλυπτω, old verb, to reveal, to unveil. Here is revelation about the revelation already received, revelation after research.

Did they minister (διηκονουν). Imperfect active of διακονεω, old verb, to minister, "were they ministering."

Have been announced (ανηγγελη). Second aorist passive indicative of

anaggello , to report, to bring back tidings (John 4:25).

Through them (δια των). Intermediate agent (δια), "the gospelizers" (των ευαγγελισαμενων, articular first aorist middle participle of ευαγγελιζω, to preach the gospel).

By the Holy Ghost (πνευματ αγιω). Instrumental case of the personal agent, "by the Holy Spirit" (without article).

Sent forth from heaven (αποσταλεντ). Second aorist passive participle of αποστελλω in instrumental case agreeing with πνευματ αγιω (the Spirit of Christ of verse 1 Peter 1:11.

Desire (επιθυμουσιν). Eagerly desire (present active indicative of επιθυμεω, to long for).

To look into (παρακυψα). First aorist active infinitive of παρακυπτω, old compound to peer into as in Luke 24:12; John 20:5; John 20:11; James 1:25, which see. For the interest of angels in the Incarnation see Luke 2:13.

Verse 13

Wherefore (διο). "Because of which thing," the glorious free grace opened for Gentiles and Jews in Christ (verses 1 Peter 1:3-12).

Girding up (αναζωσαμενο). First aorist middle participle of αναζωννυμ, late and rare verb (Judges 18:16; Proverbs 29:35; Proverbs 31:17), here only in N.T., vivid metaphor for habit of the Orientals, who quickly gathered up their loose robes with a girdle when in a hurry or starting on a journey.

The loins (τας οσφυας). Old word for the part of the body where the girdle (ζωνη) was worn. Metaphor here as in Luke 12:35; Ephesians 6:14.

Mind (διανοιας). Old word for the faculty of understanding, of seeing through a thing (δια, νοεω) as in Matthew 22:37.

Be sober (νηφοντες). "Being sober" (present active participle of νηφω, old verb, but in N.T. always as metaphor (1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8, etc., and so in 1 Peter 4:7).

Perfectly (τελειως). Adverb, old word (here alone in N.T.), from adjective τελειος (perfect), connected with ελπισατε (set your hope, first aorist active imperative of ελπιζω) in the Revised Version, but Bigg, Hort, and most modern commentators take it according to Peter's usual custom with the preceding verb, νηφοντες ("being perfectly sober," not "hope perfectly").

That is to be brought (την φερομενην). Present passive articular participle of φερω, picturing the process, "that is being brought." For "revelation" (αποκαλυψε) see end of verse 1 Peter 1:7.

Verse 14

As children of obedience (ως τεκνα υπακοης). A common Hebraism (descriptive genitive frequent in LXX and N.T., like υιο της απειθειας, children of disobedience, in Ephesians 2:2) suggested by υπακοην in verse 1 Peter 1:2, "children marked by obedience."

Not fashioning yourselves (μη συνσχηματιζομενο). Usual negative μη with the participle (present direct middle of συνσχηματιζω, a rare (Aristotle, Plutarch) compound (συν, σχηματιζω, from σχημα from εχω), in N.T. only here and Romans 12:2 (the outward pattern in contrast with the inward change μεταμορφοω). See Philippians 2:6 for contrast between σχημα (pattern) and μορφη (form).

According to your former lusts (ταις προτερον επιθυμιαις). Associative instrumental case after συνσχηματιζομενο and the bad sense of επιθυμια as in 1 Peter 4:2; 2 Peter 1:4; James 1:14.

In the time of your ignorance (εν τη αγνοια υμων). "In your ignorance," but in attributive position before "lusts." Αγνοια (from αγνοεω, to be ignorant) is old word, in N.T. only here, Acts 3:17; Acts 17:30; Ephesians 4:18.

Verse 15

But like as he which called you is holy (αλλα κατα τον καλεσαντα υμας αγιον). This use of κατα is a regular Greek idiom (here in contrast with συνσχηματιζομενο). "But according to the holy one calling you or who called you" (first aorist articular participle of καλεω, to call). God is our standard or pattern (κατα), not our lusts.

Be ye yourselves also holy (κα αυτο αγιο γενηθητε). First aorist (ingressive) passive imperative of γινομα, to become with allusion (κα also) to κατα (God as our example), "Do ye also become holy." For αναστροφη (manner of life) see verse 1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 3:1-16; James 3:13; 2 Peter 2:7. Peter uses αναστροφη eight times. The original meaning (turning up and down, back and forth) suited the Latin word conversatio (converto), but not our modern "conversation" (talk, not walk).

Verse 16

Because it is written (διοτ γεγραπτα). "Because (διοτ stronger than οτ below) it stands written" (regular formula for O.T. quotation, perfect passive indicative of γραφω). The quotation is from Leviticus 11:44; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7. Reenforced by Jesus in Matthew 5:48. The future εσεσθε here is volitive like an imperative.

Verse 17

If ye call (ε επικαλεισθε). Condition of first class and present middle indicative of επικαλεω, to call a name on, to name (Acts 10:18).

As Father (πατερα). Predicate accusative in apposition with τον--κρινοντα.

Without respect of persons (απροσωπολημπτως). Found nowhere else except in the later Ep. of Clem. of Rome and Ep. of Barn., from alpha privative and προσωπολημπτης (Acts 10:34. See James 2:9 for προσωπολημπτεω and 1 Peter 1:1 for προσωπολημψια) from προσωπον λαμβανω (in imitation of the Hebrew).

According to each man's work (κατα το εκαστου εργον). "According to the deed of each one" God judges (κρινοντα) just as Christ judges also (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Pass (αναστραφητε). Second aorist passive imperative of αναστρεφω, metaphorical sense as in 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Peter 2:18.

The time (τον χρονον). Accusative case of extent of time.

Of your sojourning (της παροικιας υμων). A late word, found in LXX (Psalms 119:5) and in N.T. only here and Acts 13:17 and in ecclesiastical writers (one late Christian inscription). It comes from παροικεω, old verb, to dwell beside (in one's neighbourhood), and so of pilgrims or strangers (παροικος Acts 7:6) as of Jews away from Palestine or of Christians here on earth, then of a local region (our "parish"). Peter here recurs to 1 Peter 1:1 ("sojourners of the Dispersion").

In fear (εν φοβω). Emphatic position at beginning of the clause with αναστραφητε at the end.

Verse 18

Knowing (ειδοτες). Second perfect active participle of οιδα, causal participle. The appeal is to an elementary Christian belief (Hort), the holiness and justice of God with the added thought of the high cost of redemption (Bigg).

Ye were redeemed (ελυτρωθητε). First aorist passive indicative of λυτροω, old verb from λυτρον (ransom for life as of a slave, Matthew 20:28), to set free by payment of ransom, abundant examples in the papyri, in N.T. only here, Luke 24:21; Titus 2:14. The ransom is the blood of Christ. Peter here amplifies the language in Isaiah 52:3.

Not with corruptible things (ου φθαρτοις). Instrumental case neuter plural of the late verbal adjective from φθειρω to destroy or to corrupt, and so perishable, in N.T. here, verse 1 Peter 1:23; 1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Corinthians 15:53; Romans 1:23. Αργυριω η χρυσιω (silver or gold) are in explanatory apposition with φθαρτοις and so in the same case. Slaves were set free by silver and gold.

From your vain manner of life (εκ της ματαιας υμων αναστροφης). "Out of" (εκ), and so away from, the pre-Christian αναστροφη of verse 1 Peter 1:15, which was "vain" (ματαιας. Cf. Ephesians 4:17-24).

Handed down from your fathers (πατροπαραδοτου). This adjective, though predicate in position, is really attributive in idea, like χειροποιητου in Ephesians 2:11 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 777), like the French idiom. This double compound verbal adjective (πατερ, παρα, διδωμ), though here alone in N.T., occurs in Diodorus, Dion. Halic, and in several inscriptions (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary; Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 266f.). The Jews made a wrong use of tradition (Matthew 15:2), but the reference here seems mainly to Gentiles (1 Peter 2:12).

Verse 19

But with precious blood (αλλα τιμιω αιματ). Instrumental case of αιμα after ελυτρωθητε (repeated from verse 1 Peter 1:18). Peter here applies the old adjective τιμιος (from τιμη, of Christ in 1 Peter 2:7) to Christ as in 1 Peter 1:7 πολυτιμοτερον to testing of faith. The blood of anyone is "precious" (costly), far above gold or silver, but that of Jesus immeasurably more so.

As of a lamb (ως αμνου). This word occurs in Leviticus 12:8; Numbers 15:11; Deuteronomy 14:4 of the lamb prescribed for the passover sacrifice (Exodus 12:5). John the Baptist applies it to Jesus (John 1:29; John 1:36). It occurs also in Acts 8:32 quoted from Isaiah 53:7. Undoubtedly both the Baptist and Peter have this passage in mind. Elsewhere in the N.T. αρνιον is used of Christ (Revelation 5:6; Revelation 5:12). Jesus is the Paschal Lamb. Peter sees clearly that it was by the blood of Christ that we are redeemed from sin.

Without blemish (αμωμου). Without (alpha privative) spot (μωμος) as the paschal lamb had to be (Leviticus 22:21). So Hebrews 9:14.

Without spot (ασπιλου). Without (alpha privative) stain (σπιλος spot) as in James 1:27; 2 Peter 3:14; 1 Peter 6:14.

Even the blood of Christ (Χριστου). Genitive case with αιματ, but in unusual position for emphasis and clearness with the participles following.

Verse 20

Who was foreknown indeed (προεγνωσμενου μεν). Perfect passive participle (in genitive singular agreeing with Χριστου) of προγινωσκω, old verb, to know beforehand (Romans 8:29; 2 Peter 3:17). See προγνωσιν θεου in verse 1 Peter 1:2.

Before the foundation of the world (προ καταβολης κοσμου). This precise curious phrase occurs in John 17:24 in the Saviour's mouth of his preincarnate state with the Father as here and in Ephesians 1:4. We have απο καταβολης κοσμου in Matthew 25:34 (κοσμου omitted in Matthew 13:35); Luke 11:50; Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 9:26; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8. Καταβολη (from καταβαλλω) was originally laying the foundation of a house (Hebrews 6:1). The preincarnate Messiah appears in the counsels of God also in 1 Corinthians 2:7; Colossians 1:26; Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 3:9-11; Romans 16:25; 1 Timothy 1:9.

But was manifested (φανερωθεντος δε). First aorist (ingressive) passive participle of φανεροω, referring to the Incarnation in contrast with the preexistence of Christ (cf. John 1:31; 1 John 3:5; 1 John 3:8).

At the end of the times (επ' εσχατου των χρονων). Like επ' εσχατου των ημερων (Hebrews 1:2). The plural χρονο, doubtless referring to successive periods in human history until the fullness of the time came (Galatians 4:4).

For your sake (δι' υμας). Proof of God's love, not of their desert or worth (Acts 17:30; Hebrews 11:39).

Verse 21

Who through him are believers in God (τους δι' αυτου πιστους εις θεον). Accusative case in apposition with υμας (you), "the through him (that is Christ as in 1 Peter 1:8; Acts 3:16) believers (πιστους correct text of A B) in God."

Which raised (τον εγειραντα). Accusative singular articular (agreeing with θεον) first aorist active participle of εγειρω (cf. δι' αναστασεως Ιησου in verse 1 Peter 1:3).

Gave glory to him (δοξαν αυτω δοντα). Second aorist active participle of διδωμ agreeing also with θεον. See Peter's speech in Acts 3:13 about God glorifying (εδοξασεν) Jesus and also the same idea by Peter in Acts 2:33-36; Acts 5:31.

So that your faith and hope might be in God (ωστε την πιστιν υμων κα ελπιδα εις θεον). Hωστε with the infinitive (εινα) and the accusative of general reference (πιστιν κα ελπιδα) is used in the N.T. as in the Koine for either purpose (Matthew 10:1) or usually result (Mark 4:37). Hence here result (so that is) is more probable than design.

Verse 22

Seeing ye have purified (ηγνικοτες). Perfect active participle of αγνιζω, old verb from αγνος (pure), here with ψυχας (souls), with καρδιας (hearts) in James 4:8 as in 1 John 3:3 of moral cleansing also. See the ceremonial sense of the word as in LXX in John 11:55; Acts 21:24; Acts 21:26; Acts 24:18.

In your obedience (εν τη υπακοη). With repetition of the idea in 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 1:14 (children of obedience).

To the truth (της αλεθειας). Objective genitive with which compare John 17:17; John 17:19 about sanctification in the truth and 2 Thessalonians 2:12 about believing the truth. There is cleansing power in the truth of God in Christ.

Unfeigned (ανυποκριτον). Late and rare double compound, here alone in Peter, but see James 3:17; 2 Corinthians 6:6, etc. No other kind of φιλαδελφια (brotherly love) is worth having (1 Thessalonians 4:9; Hebrews 13:1; 2 Peter 1:7).

From the heart fervently (εκ καρδιας εκτενως). Late adverb (in inscriptions, Polybius, LXX). The adjective εκτενης is more common (1 Peter 4:8).

Verse 23

Having been begotten again (αναγεγεννημενο). Perfect passive participle of αναγενναω, which see in verse 1 Peter 1:2.

Not of corruptible seed (ουκ εκ σπορας φθαρτης). Ablative with εκ as the source, for φθαρτος see verse 1 Peter 1:18, and σπορας (from σπειρω to sow), old word (sowing, seed) here only in N.T., though σπορος in Mark 4:26, etc. For "incorruptible" (αφθαρτου) see verse 1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 3:4.

Through the word of God (δια λογου θεου). See James 1:18 for "by the word of truth," verse 1 Peter 1:25 here, and Peter's use of λογος in Acts 10:36. It is the gospel message.

Which liveth and abideth (ζωντος κα μενοντος). These present active participles (from ζαω and μενω) can be taken with θεου (God) or with λογου (word). In verse 1 Peter 1:25 μενε is used with ρημα (word). Still in Daniel 6:26 both μενων and ζων are used with θεος. Either construction makes sense here.

Verses 24-25

1 Peter 1:24; 1 Peter 1:25 Quotation from Isaiah 40:6-8 (partly like the LXX, partly like the Hebrew).

For (διοτ). As in verse 1 Peter 1:16 (δια and οτ), "for that." So in 1 Peter 2:6. See a free use of this imagery about the life of man as grass and a flower in James 1:11. The best MSS. here read αυτης (thereof) after δοξα (glory) rather than ανθρωπου (of man).

Withereth (εξηρανθη). First aorist (gnomic, timeless) passive indicative of ξηραινω (see James 1:11).

Falleth (εξεπεσεν). Second aorist (gnomic, timeless) active indicative of εκπιπτω (see James 1:11). In verse 1 Peter 1:25 note εις υμας (unto you) like εις υμας in 1 Peter 1:4 (υμιν dative).

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Peter 1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.